July 2016 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Old world witches * Potent prophecy * Firm friendship
Fairytale witch-magic melds with the modern world in this captivating debut. A spell is cast when two babies are born as the clock strikes twelve and their lives are switched “in the blink of an eye as magic does”. And so a witch, Charlock Hawkweed, gives birth to a daughter, Ember, after long being “cursed with boys” which means that either she or her sister, Raven, will be mother of the witch queen, in accordance with the Hawkweed prophecy. But beautiful Ember is deemed a “pitiful excuse for a witch” and the coven expects that Raven’s daughter will one day be crowned queen.
A world away, teenager Poppy is about to start her eleventh school after a succession of expulsions. “Something always went wrong,” we learn. “Either intentionally or by accident”. Her depressed mum insists that it's not Poppy's fault. “It's the devil in you,” she says. Then, when Poppy follows a hare into a dell, two worlds entwine when she meets Ember. They instantly become friends, and it’s not long before Poppy realises who – and what - she really is… As the girls struggle to find their way, linked both by their friendship and their love for the same handsome boy, the time of the prophecy looms ever closer.
At heart, this is an entrancing, emotionally-charged book about growing up and forming deep bonds of friendship. Younger YA readers with a penchant for the paranormal will be spellbound. ~ Joanne Owen
The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast. Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes - one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil. Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches - but everyone knows it won't be Ember. When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer - and the witches won't give up the throne without a fight.
Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
|Publication date:||16th June 2016|
|Publisher:||Orchard Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group|
|Suitable for:||13+ readers|
|Recommendations:||Debuts of the Month, eBooks|
|Other Categories:||Reviewed by Children|
Irena Brignull is a successful screenwriter. Since working on the screenplay of The Boxtrolls, Irena has been writing an adaptation of The Little Prince directed by Mark Osborne and starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard. Previously, Irena was a Script Executive at the BBC and then Head of Development at Dogstar Films where she was the script editor on Shakespeare in Love, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Bravo Two Zero to name a few. Irena holds a BA in English Literature from Oxford University. The Hawkweed Prophecy is her first novel.More About Irena Brignull
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